Whether you are involved in a criminal matter, filing a personal injury lawsuit, or consulting an attorney regarding estate planning or other related areas, it is important to know the lawyer with whom you are dealing can handle your matter in a professional and responsible manner.
However, due to the sheer number of attorneys and most people’s lack of knowledge when it comes to various aspects of law, many individuals needing legal counsel and representation often have little idea how to go about hiring the best attorney for their needs. To make this process much easier, here are five important questions you should always ask before hiring a lawyer.
What Kind of Cases Do They Handle?
While you can usually hire any type of lawyer to handle any type of legal matter, it is always best to hire the services of one who specializes in the particular area in which you need help. Therefore, before hiring any attorney to assist you, always ask what specific types of cases they handle. For example, if you are facing criminal charges, hire an attorney who deals only with criminal defense. Likewise, if you need help planning your estate, hire an attorney who specializes in estate and probate law.
How Long Have They Practiced Law?
Even though experience is not always a deciding factor in determining the level of legal expertise and assistance you will receive from your attorney, it often plays a key role in many situations, especially ones involving criminal offenses. Therefore, when considering any attorney, always ask how long they have practiced law.
However, even if they are fresh out of law school, do not necessarily let that discourage you. After all, if you are comfortable with them and they appear to be very knowledgeable and eager to assist you, it’s possible you may have stumbled upon the next Perry Mason. More information about this important question can be found at
What are Their Fees and Expenses?
This can vary, since some lawyers charge a flat fee, while others charge an hourly rate. However, if you are hiring the services of a personal injury lawyer, the fee structure and expenses may be handled differently. With these attorneys, they usually provide free initial consultations, then require no money from their clients unless they win the case. Even if you can’t get a precise quote initially, your attorney should be able to give a close estimate regarding fees and expenses.
What is the Likely Outcome of My Case?
While no reputable attorney will guarantee certain results of any case, they should nonetheless be able to give you what they believe could be a reasonable outcome based on their years of experience handling similar cases. In these instances, you are simply seeking an honest answer as to the chances you have of winning your case. This is particularly important to clients facing criminal charges, proceeding with a divorce, or filing a personal injury lawsuit. And remember, if any attorney you are considering hiring guarantees victory, it is probably best to seek out another attorney, since legal proceedings can never be accurately predicted before a case gets underway.
Will the Lawyer Handle Your Case?
While this sounds like a strange question to ask, it is an important one. If you are preparing to hire an attorney who works for a large law firm, always make sure it is the attorney you are speaking with who will be handling the details of your case. In many instances, people hire attorneys from large firms, only to find out the bulk of their casework is being handled by paralegals or junior associates. While this may not ultimately affect the outcome of your case, if you think you will be having a high-priced attorney on your side, you could be in for an unexpected surprise.
By keeping these questions in mind when speaking with any attorney you are considering hiring, you will not only leave the meeting with a clear understanding of what to expect, but also know the attorney you ultimately choose will give you the best possible legal representation.